Apple to drop patent claims against new Samsung phone

SAN FRANCISCO Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:58am IST

Foreign visitors look around at a showroom displaying Samsung Electronics' products at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Truth Leem/Files

Foreign visitors look around at a showroom displaying Samsung Electronics' products at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 7, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Truth Leem/Files

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has agreed to withdraw patent claims against a new Samsung phone with a high-end display after Samsung said it was not offering to sell the product in the crucial U.S. market.

Apple disclosed the agreement in a filing on Friday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California. Representatives for both Apple and Samsung declined to comment.

Last month Apple asked to add the Galaxy S III Mini and other Samsung products, including several tablet models, to its wide-ranging patent litigation against Samsung.

In response, Samsung said the Galaxy S III Mini was not available for sale in the United States and should not be included in the case.

Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung earlier this year but has failed to secure a permanent sales ban against several, mostly older Samsung models. The patents Apple is asserting against the Galaxy S III Mini are separate from those that went to trial.

Samsung started selling the Mini in Europe in October to compete with Apple's iPhone 5. In its filing on Friday in U.S. District Court, for the Northern District of California, Apple said its lawyers were able to purchase "multiple units" of the Mini from Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) U.S. retail site and have them delivered in the United States.

But Samsung represented that it is not "making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the Galaxy S III Mini in the United States." Based on that, Apple said it agreed to withdraw its patent claims on the Mini, "so long as the current withdrawal will not prejudice Apple's ability later to accuse the Galaxy S III Mini if the factual circumstances change."

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al., 12-630.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Leslie Adler and Dan Grebler)

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